tv CNN Newsroom With Brooke Baldwin CNN November 13, 2017 12:00pm-1:00pm PST
assault a woman when she can come forward and get justice and feel like her career is not over, that's when we know we'll see justice. >> thank you for sharing your voice and sorry you were sick on saturday morning and something very powerful happened. thank you so much. thank you. >> thank you. >> now this. this is cnn breaking news. >> all right. we continue o top of the hour. you're watching cnn, i'm brooke bolduan and we begin with breaking news in the bob menendez corruption trial. the jury is deadlocked on all 12 counts and the judge has ordered them to get back in there and keep trying -- let's listen right now. >> first of all, as i said two and a half years ago when i first faced these charges i was innocent and clearly there are jurors who believe in my innocence.
i want to thank them for that, and i want to thank all of the jurors for their service, but i believe no juror should be coerced. it seems to me that we have been -- all of these jurors, save one, have been deliberating since monday, and i would hope that at the end of the day after they finish tomorrow nah those who continue to believe in my innocence will stand strong and that at the end of the day no juror will be coerced into a decision. thank you very much. >> and there he went. the senator on trial bob menendez -- [ speaking spanish ] >> okay. speaking in spanish there. let's get to the cnn justice reporter who has been on this trial from the very beginning and she is live there in newark, new jersey, so the judge has said to these jurors, go home,
clear your head and get some fresh air and come back and do this tomorrow, is that correct? >> that's right, brooke. this case is not over yet and they said look, we're stuck. the judge asked the attorneys what they should do and peter koskey, the prosecutor said we should keep going and they got an alternate in to replace someone who left last week and the defense attorney for menendez abby lowell said i think we should declare a mistrial and they've done all they could do here and the judge ultimately agreed with the justice department and the prosecutor and he brought the jury back in and said, look, i know it's been a long trial. keep going, keep trying. you've been instructed to start over from scratch now so go take a walk and get a breath of fresh air and come back tomorrow morning and have a fresh start. brooke? >> just quickly, so we heard -- we've seen that juror who is now out on vacation speaking up and saying she thinks that this will be declared a mistrial and
current jurors know that she has said this, yes? >> yes. there's clearly something going on in this jury room. that dismissed juror, she had a long standing vacation which the judge said he was going to honor for quite a while. i talked to her last week and she said, look, there are clear divisions in the jury room. she wanted to acquit across the board. she told me there were others that were with her and so now we see this playing out and we see the effects of the hung jury that she predicted last week, brooke? >> laura jaret, thank you so much in new jersey. >> thanks, brooke. >> now to this. >> two republican senators are now unequivocally speaking out against roy moore. today you have the senate majority leader mitch mcconnell and senator susan collins calling for roy moore to drop out. leader mcconnell says he believes the woman accusing moore of sex abuse when she was at the age of 14. mcconnell is also siding with the three other women who say
moore pursued them when they were teenagers and he was in his 30s. [ inaudible question ] >> i do. i think he should step aside. >> do you believe these allegations to be true? >> believe the women, yes. >> so as we just mentioned, senator susan collins from maine is also tweeting about this and let me read this for you. she tweeted i have now read mr. moore's statement and listened to his radio interview in which he denies the charges. i did not find his denials to be convincing and believe that he should withdraw from the senate race in alabama. but roy moore is now in day four of flat-out denying any of his allegations and he is threatening to sue the washington post for publishing the bombshell report just a month after this alabama election. plus, the governor of his state
just gave her thumbs up. here she was on roy moore for senate. so let's go to the ground, to alabama. cnn's jason carol is live in gadston, alabama. people there have had several days to take this all in -- can you tell, has roy moore lost support over any of this? >> it's tough to tell at this point. >> what i can tell you is after spending all day yesterday with folks at church and throughout the city, whatever people thought about roy moore before this, after these allegations, those people who supported him before, many of them are still strongly standing by him. those folks who were not in support of roy moore and then after the allegations came out, many of those people feel even -- have even stronger feelings against him. the question is are folks starting to move from one box to the other based on these allegations?
and with each passing day, that is something that folks here are going have to deal with. one point is clear, though, when speaking to a number of folks out here in alabama, brook is a lot of people will be relying on their faith. this is the bible belt in order to make these decisions and once again, they've already decided where they stand when it comes to roy moore. >> i'm going to compare a man of god who has done everything, ever since i've known he existed. i didn't know him when he was 32. he's done everything he said he'd do in politics. nobody else i know has, and i won't compare him with a girl who had a sorted reputation even in high school, and i know she can change. and we'll forgive, but whose word am i going to take? it's not even a close call. >> i'm not planning to vote for
him and that's where i'll leave it at this time. i'm not planning to. >> it sounds like you're on the fence. >> i -- i really like his opponent. i kind of like the policies a little bit. and i don't know, roy moore feels like a little bit more of a show as opposed to an actual, you know, legitimate, honest, trustworthy candidate. >> brooke, you mentioned that roy moore is saying that at this point he may sue "the washington post." his wife putting out a statement on facebook saying part of their lawsuit, she says will sort of settle on what they believe some of those who are coming forward. she says being paid to come forward. i spoke to a family member from lee corfman's family. she was sexually assaulted by moore. i spoke to one of corfman's
family members who gave me the following statement saying no money or other inducement has been paid, offered or promised and none is expected. brooke? >> jason, thank you in gadsden. i'll talk to a member of the roy moore campaign live in sgruft a second, but first just in, a new accuser has come forward with her lawyer. gloria allred and accuses moore of assaulting her in 1977. she was a waitress where roy moore was a regular customer and her name is beverly young nelson and he offered to drive her home from work one night and this happened. >> i got into his car in the passenger seat and he began driving. i thought he would get on the highway, but instead he drove to the back of the restaurant. i was not immediately alarmed as
there was an exit from the back of the restaurant to the street, and he could drive there to my house without getting on the highway. however, instead of driving to the street, he stopped the c car -- he stopped the car and he parked his car -- in between the dumpster and the back of the restaurant where there were no lights. the area was dark, and it was deserted. i was alarmed and i immediately asked him what he was doing instead of answering my question, mr. moore reached over and began groping me, him putting his hands on my breasts. i tried to open my car door to leave, but he reached over and
he locked it so i could not get out. i tried fighting him off while yelling at him to stop, but instead of stopping he began squeezing my neck attempting to force my head on to his crotch. i continued to struggle. i was determined that i was not going to allow him to force me to have sex with him. i was terrified. he was also trying to pull my shirt off. i thought that he was going to rape me. i was twisting, and i was struggling and i was begging him to stop. i had tears running down my face. at some point -- at some point he gave up, and he then looked at me and he told me -- he said,
you're just a child and he said i am the district attorney of etowah county, and if you tell anyone about this no one will ever believe you. he finally allowed me to open the door, and i either -- i either fell out or he pushed me out. i was on the ground as he pulled out of the parking area behind the restaurant. the passenger door was still open as he burned rubber, pull away, leaving me laying there on this cold, concrete in the dark. i got up -- i got up and i tried to pull myself together. as i was making my way to the front of the restaurant when my boyfriend arrived. it was late. it was dark, and i did not say
anything to him as to what had occurred as he had a very violent temper and i was afraid that he would do something that would get him into trouble. when i got home i went to my room and the following morning my neck was black and blue and purple. in the days following, i covered the bruising on my neck with makeup. i did not tell anyone about what had happened. i was scared. i thought that if i told anyone that mr. moore would do something to me or my family and i decided to keep what happened to myself. the day after mr. moore assaulted me i called the restaurant, and i quit my job. i never went back there again. about two years later i told my
younger sister what mr. moore did to me. about four years ago i told my mother finally what happened. before i married my husband john i told him what mr. moore had done to me. my husband and i supported donald trump for president. this has nothing whatsoever to do with the republicans or the democrats. it has everything to do with mr. moore's sexual assault when i was a teenager. i thought that i was mr. moore's only victim. i would probably have taken what mr. moore did to me to my grave had it not been for the courage of four other women that were willin willing to speak out about their experiences with mr. moore. their courage has inspired me to overcome my fear.
mr. moore attacked me when i was a child. i did nothing to deserve this sexual attack. i was frightened by his position and his power, and i am coming forward today to let mr. moore -- mr. moore to know that he no longer has any power over me, and i no longer live in fear of him. >> and there you have juchtd the latest accuser here in this roy moore story out of alabama here. brin gingras just sat down. she has a new statement from roy moore. >> that statement came in as this was going on so it seems that they were somewhat prepared for this to happen. let me read it to you in full what the statement says. gloria allred is a sensationalist leading a witch hunt and she's only around to create a spectacle.
allred claims credit for giving us roe versus wade which has resulted in tens of millions of murders of unborn babies. roy moore has never had sexual misconduct against -- let it be understood the truth will come forward, we will pursue all legal options and let me finish that on the screen there. against these false claims and judge moore will be vindicated and i'm sorry, i lost my e-mail there and it's a lengthy statement that came out as this was going on and it seems they were somewhat prepared and you just played for your viewers the entire statement by her. she had it take a pause every once in a while to get through it and gloria allred did take time during the press conference to say listen thshgs isn't about politics and she backed up who
she's -- she's fought against in the political arena, and she says this is just another one and she stands by it. >> what was the bit about the yearbook or yearbook signing? >> so that was just basically to kind of give an idea of how she knew roy moore. this woman boeverly young nelso. she first met mr. moore when he was coming into her restaurant where she worked. she was just a waitress he said i wanted to sign your yearbook and she felt honored and she brought that to the press conference and it says to a sweeter, more beautiful girl i could not say merry christmas christmas 1977 love roy moore, district attorney. >> okay. brynn, thank you so much for that side of it. let's continue on, steve levy is the campaign coordinator for calhoun county, alabama. steve, welcome. >> good afternoon. so let me just start with your reaction to what we just heard?
>> i don't really have a reaction on that. i don't know this woman. i live in the neighboring county right next door and all politics is local if you don't know that. >> we're aware. >> it is very -- it is very curious that i haven't heard any stories like this until this year. i've worked for roy moore's campaign for the last three campaigns campaigns and they've been brutal campaigns from the left and the opposition and the republican party have brutalized roy moore in many, many different ways and i'm not trying to cast as persians on anyone because i don't know any of these women even though i live in the neighboring country i've never heard of any of these accusations. i support roy moore because he's been exactly the opposite of what these folks have said, and he's been a man of character and a man of god and he's been a man that stands up and says i will fight for you and i will do a,
b, c, and d for you and he actually does a, b, c and d for the people and the political class doesn't like that and they don't like that, and there's not just a swamp in washington, d.c. and there's a swamp in alabama and our capital, too. and he was a victim of swamp politics when he was here twice as the supreme court justice. so that's what i can tell you. i can tell you why i support roy moore and i can tell you that since the allegations have come out -- >> yes, of course. all politics is local, but this has national implications and i wanted to talk to you today because i was reading one of the papers in alabama where you were quoted as saying these allegations are actually helping your candidate, and i wanted to ask you why. >> well, i did not say that. i said since the accusations have come out that i've had more phone calls about volunteership for the roy moore campaign in my county. >> and helping your cause. >> these are folks who say i
don't believe this about roy moore. i want to help. can i get a yard sign. can i help you in any way. please, let me help and of course, being his coordinator i say okay. >> of course. of course. i have also read that democrats are seeing a boost for your opponent doug jones because of all these stories that are swirling. are you at all concerned about that? >> no. if you want to support doug jones and you're a democrat, please go ahead. i'm for civic duty and i'm for getting out and supporting the candidate that you think is best. i think roy moore is the best candidate for the race because he's a veteran who has served alabama with pride and distinction and so that's why i support him. if he wasn't, if i thought for a minute that any of those things were true, i couldn't possibly support him, but i do think he's a man of distinction and he's proven that to me over and over again and i've met several members of his family. i've met his wife and they've been stalwarts in alabama which
has been for quite some time. >> mitch mcconnell has officially said he believes the wom woman who was 14 at the time and he believes roy moore should step aside. do you think with the senate majority leader speaking out so strongly against your candidate today, how might that affect his chances? >>. >> i think mitch mcconnell is not liked in the state of alabama at all and he's worked years against conservative republicans and not just roy moore and every conservative republican who has tried to run for senate including during the primary, his organization lobbied vicious attacks against roy moore that nobody expected to come from a fellow republican because generally in the republican party we try to treat each other with respect and dignitily, but mitch mcconnell doesn't adhere to those
principles at all as a republican. the fact that mitch mcconnell doesn't like him makes me want to vote for him. >> so the more mitch mcconnell says the more you say it helps you? >> it does in the rope rep circles in the state of alabama because mitch mcconnell is not a popular man in the state of alabama. >> roy moore has served with distinction for over 30 years and he is a popular man here in alabama. >> i can tell, but then you have this other senator susan collins saying she didn't find his details with regard to his denials to be convincing. she listened to a radio interview of his. steve, what's your response to senator collins and would you advise your candidate to go point by point accuser by accuser and explain to the public why these women's stories are false? >> no. i wou i wouldn't advise him to do that? >> why not?
>> i'm just a county coordinator who tries to help with the campaign as i can. i don't pretend to advise on a high-level senate campaign. i'm just trying to help the candidate they believe in. again, we have another one of those republicans who always sides against them is susan collins. and senator lee and that shocked me that he came out so quick, but the rest of them are kind of what i like to call light-weight republicans who don't stand on principle at all. >> well, what about corey gardner? we are getting this statement in from corey gardner the chairman of the senatorial committee and he says if roy moore refuses to withdraw and wins the race that the senate should vote to expel him. that's a direct quote. your response? is he a lightweight republican, too? >> you're telling the voters of alabama if you choose your senator that we are going to try to nullify your vote.
therefore you don't have constitutional right to vote in alabama because we are going to work our best to nullify your vote if you vote for roy moore. that's the message i get from that. i don't know how you perceive that and to say that the voters of alabama vote for roy moore you're all wrong and i know more than you do and us republican senators will nullify your vote on the senate. >> that's what we have. >> that's a breach of the constitution and i don't think folks in alabama will rest well with. >> that's why i was asking. that's why i was asking. this is what corey gardner is saying? what if president trump calls on moore to drop out? once he comes back from asia and sees what's at stake, and sees the number of republicans are piling in saying he should drop out. what would you say to the president? >> i would say to the president that like senator bob menendez
who is on trial root now, people are innocent until proven guilty, and we're being ryed tr and roy moore is being tried in the public opinion and i don't know them from adam, and i don't know who they are, and i don't know their relatives and any of them and i'm not going to cast as persian on any of them. what i'm saying is if i was being accused of something and i was not guilty, i would surely like to be able to prove my innocence rather than have every news or most of the news agencies in the united states piling on to me saying i'm guilty of something that hasn't been proven because that's how our legal system is set up which, by the way, roy moore is a constitutional scholar and does understand these things. >> think the thing is, steve -- >> lobbying a lawsuit against the washington post. >> i think the thing is how can -- how can he prove he didn't do it? i agree with you. he is innocent until proven
guilty, but i think the thing is no one may ever know. it's just a, you know, she said-he said. this will obviously never see the inside of a courtroom. it's up on alabamans, pure and simple. >> it is absolutely up to alabama. it is up to alabama. >> steve, thank you. good luck. >> thank you very much for having me. you have a great day. >> thank you, you, too, sir. coming up next on the breaking news, republicans holding a slim majority in the senate now facing a predicament. support roy moore. do they support a write-in candidate? we'll take you live to capitol hill for their reaction next.
candidate roy moore of sexual abuse when she was 16 years of age. several republicans up on capitol hill have called for roy moore to drop out of the race, but he denies these allegations and says he's not going anywhere. moments ago, corey gardner says if moore wins this race that the senate should vote to expel him. so i've got brianna keilar. she is back up with us from capitol hill, and our cnn senior washington correspondent and david chalian, cnn political director. brianna, that's a big, big statement and that's taking it farther from talk about corey gardner, farther from he should drop out and if he is voted in we should vote to expel him. >> reporter: that's right. so you're seeing this official republican press trying to keep roy moore from continuing on the path that he's on, but i also think, brooke, that there is this awareness from the establishment gop that they might not be able to really convince roy moore to not
continue his run and all eyes are certainly on the state party in alabama, but there's this concern here among republicans that he is leaving the stain on them, and so they're trying to distance themselves from rye moore as much as possible. i'm standing now outside of a senate finance committee mark-up on tax reform. this is what republicans want to be talking about and this roy moore controversy which you now have republicans like corey gardner saying it is true. they believe it is true and they believe these women and find them credible. they don't want to be talking about roy moore, a candidate they never supported before and he certainly wasn't a favorite of the gop establishment and this story is completely hijacking their agenda when there is such a tight time line for trying to pass tax reform. >> so, right. of course, they want taxes front and center. it will be a big week for the republicans and this is the
cloud that's still hanging over and david chalian, to you. i don't know if you heard my conversation with steve genny with the moore campaign and he was saying to me every one of these republican lawmakers on cap toil hill saying get out, get out, it's only helping his cause. his phone is ringing moore and more, for those people giving a lawn sign, i'm all in. >> when it was luther strange versus roy moore that mitch mcconnell was the most toxic word used in the campaign. mitch mcconnell was an albatross around luther strange's neck and roy moore used that day in and day out on the campaign trail. now that mitch mcconnell is asking roy moore to step out of the way and that's not going to have a ton of sway with roy moore voters and his most committed supporters. two things about the corey gardner statement and the republican senator from colorado who heads up the national republican senatorial committee. first of all, remember what his job is. he is in charge of the committee, committed to keeping
the majority in republican hands in the united states senate and so the statement coming from him that even if he wins we need to vote to expel him indicates that he sees roy moore as a real big 2018 electoral problem for potential republican senators like dean heller in nevada, for instance. that's one, two, that's part of the leadership, brooke. corey gardner doesn't give that statement without mitch mcconnell giving his blessing. that is the republican leadership point of view and it takes two-thirds of the senate and 67 votes to expel a number, but this is now the republican party's position that roy moore should be expelled if he wins on december 12th. >> again, this alabama republican who is helping roy moore out on this campaign saying listen, that message from corey gardner is saying to all of the alabama voters your vote doesn't count because we here in the big senate in washington, we're going to take him down.
paraphrasing. >> no. you're absolutely right. it is going to embolden roy moore's supporterses and remember, this is a bizarrely competitive race to begin with before the allegations came out because roy moore is a pretty controversial figure from his past with past policy positions and statements and clearly, this is more competitive than the alabama race would become. >> you are right, when the washington post comes out with allegations and when gloria allred sits income to a client and when the established republican senators are out there pounding their chest against roy moore thshgs is exactly the argument he's been making to alabama that that all needs to get busted up because that's a voice from the outside, the northeast media, mainstream liberal elite and not representing alabama and that is certainly something you see him saying in his statements in the last few days. >> yeah. listen to me, not a week, a month before this big election in alabama. david chalian, thank you.
brianna keilar on capitol hill. thank you so much. let's take a turn to the stunning developments and these two navy s.e.a.l.s being investigated over the death of an army green beret. the daily beast is reporting those navy s.e.a.l.s had a secret they were trying to keep until their story started to unravel. senator menendez corruption trial deadlocked today just 48 hours after a dismissed juror went and spoke out. we'll talk live with a jury consultant about what this means for the trial moving forward.
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as both house and senate rep res are in a frantsic rush trying to find an agreement on the tax bills. they're marking up the senate's version of the tax plan and that is the first step on the senate side to see an actual vote of their version, but the gop has a messaging problem and the senate majority leader said last week that nobody in the middle class would see a tax increase. senate majority leader mitch mcconnell now telling "the new york times" he misspoke on that and you can't guarantee that no one sees a tax increase. on the house side, speaker paul ryan says most folks in the middle class will get a tax break. so let's go straight to phil mattingly, he's been living, breathing all things tax cut and tax reform on capitol hill. this is already a complicated process. where are we with this tweet from the president? >> it's not necessarily a legislative strategy. that was the reaction i got from most house and republican aides i spoke to when the president
tweeted out this morning from overseas and i want to quote this. we're getting close and how about ending the unfair mandate in obamacare and reducing taxes even further and cut the top rate with the rest going to middle income cuts. there's a lot to unpack there and let's look at primary things and reducing it further than it already is, and introducing the obama individual mandate, and those are two key policy items, brook, that are not in the senate version which as you noted is the committee today, and we're supposed to get a house floor vote this week. those are things that are attractive. both of them to certain republicans and those same republicans who may have to vote on the proposal this week. here is the bigger issue here right now. there's a reason those aren't currently in the proposals and break it down really quick, the individual mandate if it's repealed would essentially allow for $338 billion over ten years, why is that?
individuals would not be seeking insurance because they wouldn't be required to under law and the government wouldn't have to pay as many subsidies and that would save mono pep why does that matter to tax reform? republicans need money. in that sense it's attractive repeatedly week after week after week and month after month after month. >> i want to be clear, this is something that is actually on the table and it will resurface in general at some point during the process, but there is a clear reason leaders have kept this off the table up to this point. they recognize the potential major problems of introducing the health care debate into a tax reform debate which by all accounts, every source that i'm talk to on both the house and senate side is goidoing surprisingly well. 13 million fewer people would have insurance over the course
of a ten-year period and that is a tough number to confront and the type of number that strangled republicans throughout the health care debate and one they've wanted to avoid up to this point. the revenue idea, brooke, it's very attractive and they're making tough choices and $338 billion would certainly be helpful and the big question now despite what the president tweets is do republican leaders really want to bring health care back into this debate that up to this point has been going somewhat smoothly. as of now the answer is no, but as i said, keep this -- bookmark this tweet and bookmark this idea. if it comes down to the wire over the next couple of weeks the individual mandate repeal as difficult as it may be is absolutely on the table, brooke. >> that it's on the table now potentially part of this whole massive conversation, republicans have got to get this done, and if not, it could spell big, big problems for them in 2018. phil mattingly, you are excellent at what you do. thank you so much. i appreciate you there on capitol hill breaking that down for us. now to breaking news in the
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sgla back to the breaking news in the corruption trial for new jersey democratic senator bob menendez. the jury here deadlocked on all 12 counts and the judge has ordered them to go home for the day and, quote, clear their heads. this happened after the alternate juror joined the group to basically begin deliberations from scratch, that juror is replacing another juror because of a previously scheduled vacation, but that dismissed
juror did not fade away quietly and even predicting a hung jury. >> told them they weren't going to change my mind so there was no reason for them to try to change my mind. i was already in the courtroom for nine weeks and in those nine weeks they presented everything they had to present. i didn't fall asleep, i paid attention and i wrote my notes. what i saw in the courtroom was he was not guilty of all counts and so was dr. melgar, they're all friends. >> let's talk to robert hirschhorn, who also worked with george zimmerman's defense team. nice to have you on. >> thanks for having me on, brooke. >> no surprise, there are a lot of juries that are deadlocked. i understand that, but basically starting from scratch today a couple of hours in and they're saying to the judge, we can't. we're deadlocked. does that surprise you? >> it's a weak case and it's a he said/she said kind of case. no videos, no audios and they have some e-mail, but you know,
what i found having done this 30-plus years, people from new jersey they say what they mean, and they mean what they say, and if this jury says they have a reasonable doubt it's unlikely that there will be a whole lot more argument that will change their mind. >> what do you with the trial still ongoing? >> well, jurors do it. they have a first amendment right. the judge as i understand it did not put any kind of gag order on the jurors so jurors have the right to convey to the public what they're thinking. understand, this was the juror that felt that she wanted to get a note to the judge about what's going on in the jury room. the other jurors tried to talk her out of it. the court officer for that judge took the note, gave it to the judge. this is a juror that's really frustrated. i wish she hadn't gone on vacation. i wish she had been able to change that. but she didn't. so what she felt was she couldn't complete her task so she was going to talk about it and she had the right to do it.
>> so, robert, what happens now? you have these jurors, as per this judge, going home, clearing their heads, getting a fresh breath of air. obviously the judge hoping they can be back at it tomorrow. when might this allen charge, the dynamite charge come into play? >> yeah, so let's talk about that. what a dynamite charge is, it's where a judge says to the jury, look, you're the only jury, there is no other jury that can do a better job than you. please, do everything you can. try to reach your verdict, if you can. but by the same token, don't give up. if you believe that your position is right then you should stick with it. the allen charge i would suspect is going to come the next time the jury sends out another note saying that they're deadlocked. here is the interesting thing for the viewers to think about. remember, brooke just told you that the composition of the jury changed because that one juror that just left because of a pre-committed vacation. they brought a new juror in and they only deliberated a couple of hours, sent out the note saying we're hung and the judge
let's them go home. they had just come off a three-day vacation, because, remember, friday was veterans day, so nobody worked on friday. so they don't need to clear their head. from from the jersey. they've made their mind and i think these folks are going to stick with what they think. >> i appreciate all of your trust and belief and how, you know, they say what they mean and they mean what they say. shout out to new jerseyens. we'll see what happens come tomorrow. thank you so much. good to have you on. coming up next here, this major development involving the deadly ambush against american troops in niger. what cnn is now learning about witness accounts that indicate that sergeant la david johnson was found dead with his hands tied. we'll take you to the pentagon for that latest reporting.
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new and alarming details emerging from the the investigation into the deadly niger ambush. a team of military and fbi investigators have gone back to the scene of the attack where those four american soldiers were killed. a defense official telling cnn that u.s. officials are now looking into some eyewitness accounts that sergeant la david johnson was found with his hands bound. so let's go straight to the pentagon to barbara starr, who is the one with this reporting. so hands bound. tell me more about that. >> reporter: well, brooke, what we have to emphasize is they are looking at these local reports from the villagers, from people in the area, but there is no corroboration of that at this point. we, in fact, are being cautioned very heavily that really one needs to wait until the u.s. military investigation is done. they simply do not know the answers.
but u.s. military investigators and fbi agents over the weekend went back to this village in niger. they talked to local people there. they looked at the ambush site. and they're basically investigating at this point all of the reports they're getting. sergeant la david johnson, as you will recall, is the young soldier whose body was not found for 48 hours after three other soldiers were killed in this ambush and one of the ongoing very sensitive questions is what happened to him? why couldn't they find his body? where was he during that 48-hour period? he was eventually found dead in a brush-covered area. they don't know if he was even there the whole time. they're looking at reports. villagers, friendly villagers may have taken the body and then turned it back over to nigerien forces. so all of these things part of the investigation. but also very critically part of the investigation is how the ambush actually happened. because the soldiers were told
there was very little chance of enemy contact, that it would be very unlikely, and yet they were. a 12-man team ambushed by some 50 suspected isis fighters. so did this team have the proper intelligence when they went out into the field? were all the proper authorizations and reviews signed off on before they went out? all of this being looked at now and they will -- they are estimating that the investigation, in fact, is so complex it may not be done until january. brooke? >> 30 seconds, barbara. just curious, in all the, you know, top brass you talk to, how big is a concern because of what happened in niger that our men and women all around the world, you know, in military are even mo more so in harm's way? >> well, look, i think the u.s. military very strongly looks at intelligence every time the u.s. troops are out in the field and tries to make their best assessment case by case about
the threat they are facing. clearly here in niger, they missed the mark. 12-man team a.b. ambushed by 50 isis fighters that they never expected. it is a reminder. dangerous business. they have to look at it all the time. brooke? >> barbara starr, thank you so much at the pentagon. thank you all for being with me. i'm brooke baldwin. "the lead" with jake tapper starts right now. this is cnn breaking news. good afternoon and welcome to "the lead." i'm jake tapper. we begin today with breaking news in our politics lead. a stunning press conference just minutes ago. another disturbing allegation against republican senate candidate roy moore in alabama. this one now accusing moore of sexually assaulting her when she was just 16 years old. beverly young nelson said she worked at old hickory house restaurant in alabama where then district attorney moore was a regular customer who would flirt with her when is she was 15 or 16. one late cold night her